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Amazon looking to open second HQ office. Does YYC have a chance?

Oddball

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According to this Herald article, Calgary isn't at least at this stage making it's bid public. They say it's about protecting their competitive advantage. They explicitly state that there will be no tax incentives offered by the city, but that they feel they have a unique proposition which may include land and partnership on construction.

From a competitive standpoint, the article also points out that the GTA is also offering no tax incentives, but that the State of New Jersey is offering $7 Billion, likely because as the article points out it lacks a lot of the quality of life factors supposedly of importance to Amazon.

The partnership on construction thing is a little funny to me as a follower of the City/Flames saga. I guess that's the difference between a multi-billion dollar corporation and the Flames. One offers $5B in investment and 50,000 jobs, the other offers to jack up our ticket prices and for that gain the right to not pay rent. :p Maybe Jeff wants an arena too?
 

Surrealplaces

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I'm not surprised that tax incentives weren't involved. Just as well, as we would want this to work for both parties. I'd rather see creative ideas as incentives rather than straight up dollars.
 

darwink

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With the amount being invested in capital spend and economic activity over 20 years, any incentives are pretty drop in the bucket-e. But structural conditions? Huge.
 

Oddball

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The deadline for HQ2 bid submissions was last Thursday. Amazon said it received 238 from cities in 54 North American jurisdictions (Canadian Provinces/Mexican States/US States and Puerto Rico)

Also big news from the Amazon map: the Caribbean Islands appear to have be oblivated. I hope the survivors were able to make it to Puerto Rico and the mainland of the Americas. My heart goes out to them.
 

Edward Skira

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How about a massive warehouse instead?


http://www.newswire.ca/news-release...750-plus-new-jobs-653359783.html?tc=eml_mycnw

Amazon Continues Growth in Canada with Calgary Area Fulfillment Centre, Creating 750-Plus New Jobs

Amazon.ca
Oct 26, 2017, 12:00 ET

SEATTLE, Oct. 26, 2017 /CNW/ - Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced plans to open its seventh Canadian fulfillment centre to be located in the greater Calgary region's Rocky View community. The 600,000 square foot customer fulfillment facility located in Nose Creek Business Park, Amazon's first in Alberta, will create more than 750 new full-time associate roles – joining Amazon's current and growing workforce of 2,000-plus full-time fulfillment employees across the country. In total, Amazon employs more than 4,400 employees throughout Canada working at corporate offices, development centers, and other facilities.

The new facility will join Amazon's network of current fulfillment centres located in Ontario: Brampton, Mississauga, and Milton, and British Columbia: Delta and New Westminster. Associates at this facility will pick, pack, and ship items ranging from aviator sunglasses to zebra costumes.

"We are excited to continue our growth in Canada and especially in the greater Calgary community where we've already received great community support," said Glenn Sommerville, Director of Amazon Operations in Canada. "Our ability to create more than 750 good-paying jobs with great benefits is the result of our dedicated workforce across the country who continue to raise the bar on operational excellence and customer obsession. Customers have seen the great work they do and we couldn't be prouder of our ability to grow in Canada."

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said, "We are pleased Amazon has chosen to grow and create jobs in the Calgary region. As we look for our economy to recover and diversify, companies like Amazon will play a strong role in positioning Alberta as a national leader in industry and innovation. The creation of 750 full-time good-paying, stable, and long-term jobs is significant. I'd like to congratulate Amazon on its success and thank the company for investing here in Alberta."

Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development said, "When our government commits to job creation for the middle-class, this is what it looks like! We know that global companies see Canada as a strong place to invest because of our talented and skilled workforce. We're working with businesses to leverage strong investments and create well-paying, middle-class jobs. Congratulations to Amazon on this exciting new expansion and the creation of 750 jobs in Calgary."

"Amazon's investment in Rocky View County reinforces our role as leader in hosting warehousing, distribution centres, and logistical facilities," said Rocky View County Reeve Greg Boehlke. "Amazon's fulfillment centre will serve as an economic driver for the entire region, and we're delighted to welcome Amazon to Rocky View County."

Full-time employees at Amazon receive competitive wages, medical, vision and dental coverage, RRSPs, stock awards, and performance-based bonuses starting on day one. Amazon also offers employees access to innovative programs like Career Choice, where it will pre-pay up to 95 percent of tuition for courses related to in-demand fields, regardless of whether the skills are relevant to a career at Amazon. Since the program's launch, more than 10,000 employees across the globe have pursued degrees in game design and visual communications, nursing, IT programming and radiology, to name a few.

To learn more about working at an Amazon fulfillment centre, visit www.amazondelivers.jobs.

Amazon is partnering with QuadReal Property Group on the development and management of the fulfillment centre. For more information about QuadReal visit www.quadreal.com.
 

Oddball

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Haha, I just posted the same news in the "Industrial Development" thread in the real estate section. Thankfully, it doesn't have to be instead, it can be both. In The process that landed this new facility in Calgary is completely independent of the process that will award HQ2 see quote below from this Herald Article. It sure is good news though. It'll be Amazon's 2nd largest facility in the country and the first outside the GTA or GVA.

Amazon Rep said:
“These are two separate and very independent processes,” she said. “We determined a fulfilment centre for this particular location because of customer demand. When we’re looking at locations for a headquarters, that’s a different set of requirements and priorities.”
I trust them when they say this is independent, but I can't see how the decision to invest here hurts our chances of further investment.
 

Oddball

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I found this article a few days ago and forgot to share it. CNBC did a ranking all the Canadian and US Amazon bids (They eliminated Mexican cities under the assumption that it might not be politically feasible with the current US Federal Government). The used on 5 criteria: Education of work force, Universities, Airport Traffic, Mass-Transit Ridership and Job Growth. They gave points to the top 20 in each category. 20 points for first place and 19 for second and so on in that fashion. Here are the results:



Calgary is in the middle of the pack. Which isn't bad. Our strengths were the education of the workforce where we ranked 13th and mass transit ridership where we ranked 10th. Calgary is ranked second among Canadian cities, topping Montreal (narrowly) and Vancover substantially. Toronto easily led the pack for Canadian cities, but the big US Metros all clobbered Canada generally speaking. Funny note: they left in Seattle. :p It kinda of makes me want to try to put together my own ranking. It would probably be equally subjective, but I think CNBC overlooked certain important criteria, such as quality of life, general proximity to Seattle, the cost of doing business and price of real-estate. I think their criteria on city size was also possibly too exclusive since Edmonton and Ottawa were not included. Likely due to their core cites being under 1M despite their CMAs being comparable to Calgary. Oddly, Minneapolis doesn't appear on their map, but does appear in their ranking.

EDIT: I'm trying to look into what data they used for post-secondary. Seeing Toronto outranked by Portland, makes me think that they used US-Only data. I'll update if I can get it open.
 
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Surrealplaces

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Interesting graph, and not bad for Calgary if they were to add cost of housing to the criteria, you would probably see some of these other cities drop from the list. Also they didn't show job growth for the Canadian cities, which could bump Calgary (and other Canadian cities) up even more.

NYC
Washington
Los Angeles
San Francisco
Seattle
Toronto
San Diego
Boston
 

Oddball

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Definitely not perfect, but it does give a bit of a gauge. It might be fun to try to put our own SRC's Wonderful City Ranking together. I'm trying to find some data to use for metrics. I found this data set which might be good for airports. It doesn't have complete data for all the cities, but it seems legit. The numbers for Calgary are in-line with my expectations. If @Nimbus ever checks in on this thread he'd probably have a better idea. I sliced and diced the data a little to come up with my own ranking. I gave equal weight to the three data sets, passengers, cargo and aircraft movements and each score was normalized by the top ranked city (not airport, all airports combined). So the top city got a score of 1 in each category and every subsequent city was their value expressed as a percentage against the largest city.

Example: Passengers

Largest City: Atlanta - 104,171,935 - Score = 104,171,935/104,171,935 = 1
Second Lagest City: Chicago - 100,638,447 - Score = 100,638,447/104,171,935 = 0.96608 ~ 0.97
31st Lagest City: Calgary - 15,680,616 - Score = 15,680,616/104,171,935 = 0.15052 ~ 0.15

So using that approach on all three metrics I came up with the following ranking. The largest possible score was 3 if a city lead in all three categories. I'd rather use this kind of ranking where the scores are relative to one another rather than a points based system like the one that CNBC used. This way all cities get points and the relative difference between scores is preserved. Miami's score is only roughly 21% better than Washington DC's, but under CNBC's system they would have gotten 40% more points. I may need to make some adjustments still. For instance, should Newark, NJ be included in the NYC score or Ontario, CA with the LA score? If so that likely significantly alters the ranking. I think it's pretty good for now though.


Rank City/State Aggregate Score

1 Chicago IL 2.32
2 Los Angeles CA 2.05
3 Atlanta GA 1.95
4 New York NY 1.88
5 Phoenix AZ 1.43
6 Dallas/Fort Worth TX 1.40
7 Miami FL 1.26
8 Houston TX 1.22
9 Memphis TN 1.20
10 Denver CO 1.12
11 San Francisco CA 1.02
12 Washington DC 1.00
13 Las Vegas NV 0.96
14 Charlotte NC 0.95
15 Newark NJ 0.94
16 Toronto ON 0.94
17 Seattle WA 0.89
18 Anchorage AK 0.84
19 Minneapolis MN 0.77
20 Boston MA 0.77
21 Philadelphia PA 0.73
22 Orlando FL 0.73
23 Detroit MI 0.73
24 Honolulu HI 0.58
25 Vancouver BC 0.57
26 Louisville KY 0.56
27 Fort Lauderdale, FL 0.56
28 Salt Lake City UT 0.55
29 Baltimore MD 0.49
30 Oakland CA 0.43
31 Portland OR 0.43
32 San Diego CA 0.41
33 Montreal QC 0.40
34 Calgary AB 0.38
35 Santa Ana, CA 0.35
36 Dallas TX 0.35
37 Indianapolis IN 0.33
38 Austin TX 0.31
39 St Louis MO 0.30
40 Nashville TN 0.30
41 Raleigh-Durham NC 0.30
42 Grand Forks ND 0.28
43 Daytona Beach FL 0.27
44 Long Beach CA 0.27
45 Sanford FL 0.26
46 Tampa FL 0.21
47 Cincinnati OH 0.17
48 Kansas City MO 0.13
49 Ontario CA 0.12
50 New Orleans LA 0.11
51 San Antonio TX 0.11
52 San Jose CA 0.10
53 Sacramento CA 0.10
54 Fort Myers FL 0.08
55 Cleveland OH 0.08
56 Fort Worth TX 0.03
57 Rockford IL 0.03
58 Hartford CT 0.03
59 Columbus OH 0.02
60 Huntsville AL 0.02
61 Pittsburgh PA 0.02
62 Manchester, NH 0.02

If I can find good data sets for other metrics, I'd like to try to do the same thing. Right now I'm looking at Universities. I can't find a great set yet. I'm just looking at Wikipedia right now. But my intention was to rank cities based on the number of students rather than the number of institutions and probably split it out by undergrad-vs-postgrad. I'm also mulling how best to include lower levels of post-secondary education like colleges and polytechnics and small private often faith based universities like Ambrose or St. Mary's in Calgary.

I'm also considering a state/provincial education factor if I can find good data that could be added as a modifier for cities. Take Waterloo and Queens for example. Maybe I could add them to a provincial pool for extra-CMA post-secondary insitutions in Ontario then award points to Ottawa and Toronto based on their share of the Ontario population as a little extra sugar on top for just how many post secondary institutions there are in Ontario.
 
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Cowtown

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Does anyone know if they have shortlisted any cities yet? Any bets on who will get it?
 

Surrealplaces

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That will be the business news of the year unless NAFTA gets torn up. I doubt one will be able to miss it!
Yeah, it's going to be massive news, even if a list of short listed cities come out.

As far as bets.... It's hard to say. So many cities, we should be given at least two or three choices. Here are my top 3. Obviously I wish it was Calgary, but I think we are still a long shot.

1) Atlanta
2) Minneapolis
3) Chicago
 

Oddball

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Yeah, it's going to be massive news, even if a list of short listed cities come out.

As far as bets.... It's hard to say. So many cities, we should be given at least two or three choices. Here are my top 3. Obviously I wish it was Calgary, but I think we are still a long shot.

1) Atlanta
2) Minneapolis
3) Chicago
4) Denver
5) Pittsburgh
 

Habanero

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My guesses are Denver, Dallas or Minneapolis. Those cities are progressive cities with reasonable housing cost, and a fairly high ratio of educated workforce, large well connected airports, and sports teams in the 4 major sports. Charlotte and Austin maybe have a chance. I'm ruling 0ut any city that is a waterfront city, too expensive and all are subject to earthquakes and hurricanes.

Of course, in the end it could all come down to tax breaks and monetary incentives, and end up in a city like Cincinnati.
 

Surrealplaces

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According to 'Paddy Power' Calgary has an 18-1 chance....slightly lower than Toronto who's at 16-1..

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/amazon-edmonton-calgary-alberta-paddy-power-1.4475922
Calgary's odds to land Amazon HQ2 improve while Edmonton still 'dark horse'
Paddy Power gives Calgary 18 to 1 odds to land second headquarters; Edmonton sits at 100 to 1


And while on the subject...another article taking about the downsides of winning the bid.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/amazon-hq2-1.4361801
ANALYSIS
Canadian cities in the hunt for Amazon's HQ2 — but is it worth the shot?
While the rewards may be great, becoming Amazon's home away from home has drawbacks too
 
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